Clarah Buhman, of Bettendorf, Iowa, has achieved the Gold Award, the highest award in Girl Scouts, by spreading awareness on Nature Deficit Disorder through the organization of trail hiking and speaking events. Clarah explained how physical and mental health problems are developed from individuals spending too much time on screens and not enough time outdoors. She partnered with organizations like WAPSI and Nahant Marsh to help her set up events and spread awareness. Clarah created brochures on Nature Deficit Disorder that can be used as resources at these organizations. She also spread awareness to teachers, parents, and students by speaking in classrooms at Hopewell Elementary school. The overall goal of this project is to have more people spending more time outdoors enjoying nature.
A Girl Scout Gold Award project must tackle a broad spectrum of important issues and a young woman who has earned her Gold Award has become a community leader in the truest sense.
Read what Clarah has to say about her project and the value of Girl Scouts!
How long have you been a Girl Scout?
I have been a Girl Scout for 10 years.
What do you love about Girl Scouting?
My favorite part of being in Girl Scouts is all of the experiences I have had. Through Girl Scouts, I have done everything from week long canoeing trips and rock wall climbing to volunteering and helping at different events.
What inspired your Gold Award project?
I was inspired by a book that my troop leader showed me. I have always had a passion for nature and the outdoors. It was interesting learning about this topic and it came natural to want to educate people about Nature Deficit Disorder.
What role has Girl Scouts played in your life?
Girl Scouts has given me a lot of real life and hands on experiences in many different things. I have been able to help plan many events and trips for my troop and even for the councils in our area. With Girl Scouts, I have learned many leadership and communication skills.
What is your next step after earning your Gold Award? Are you going
to college? If so, where and what will you be studying?
I will be attending Kirkwood Community College. I will be studying Parks and Natural Resources.
Girl Scout Gold Award
Since 1916, Girl Scouts have been making meaningful, sustainable change in their communities and around the world. The Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor a Girl Scout can earn, acknowledges the power behind each recipient’s dedication to not only empowering and bettering herself, but also to making the world a better place for others. These young women are courageous leaders and visionary change makers. They are our future, and it looks bright!
The steps to becoming a Gold Award Girl Scout are rooted in the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. To achieve this honor, a girl must:
- Choose an issue she cares about.
- Investigate everything she can about the issue.
- Get help by inviting others to support and take action with her.
- Create a plan that achieves sustainable and measurable impact.
- Present her plan and get feedback from the Girl Scout council.
- Take action to carry out her plan.
- Educate and inspire others with what she experienced.
- Complete at least 80 hours working on the project.
Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois
Through the Girl Scout Program, girls learn to face challenges head-on, embrace failure as a learning opportunity, create lasting relationships, and find dynamic solutions to social issues—all while building the skills and courage they need to take the lead every day and empower themselves for life.